Letting go of toxic people isn’t an act of cruelty its an act of self-care.
We are always going to have to deal with having toxic people around us, but it’s deciding who is worth keeping in your life and who you need to let go of. I put my hands up and admit I am the worst at making excuses for other people, those who don’t deserve it. Sucks to admit it when a person you’ve seen as your friend for such a long time, doesn’t care about you the way you care about them. I was 16 when I went through my first friendship breakup and it was one I still think about to this day. We were friends since we were 8 years old, we did everything together, but me suffering from mental illness and needing a friend a lot, became too much for her and she distanced herself from me, it was tough but I knew it couldn’t carry on that way. I chose to end our friendship for my own sanity, it was difficult and I thought we might be able to change things in the future, but that was the end, and to this day we haven’t spoken, so I guess our friendship wasn’t worth fighting for.
It’s crazy how different things seem when you take a step back, and see things without the rose-tinted glasses on. Hindsight is a beautiful thing. No matter how much you want a person to care, if they don’t, you can’t force them sadly. Which is the shitty thing about friendship breakups, because just like real breakups it is usually one-sided. We don’t often know our friendships are toxic, again just like relationships the signs are hard to spot. For me, it is always about trying to work out if my friends deserve another chance, and if so how many chances do they deserve. One of my biggest struggles with toxic friendships is I am too forgiving, I believe this is partly down to suffering from BPD, as the idea of someone hating me or being mad is too much to comprehend.
In more recent years I’ve broken myself away from toxic friendships and thank god I did. The first was a fairly short-lived friendship full of guilt-tripping and making me a person I did not want to be, the friendship was always taking and never give back from their point of view, and the slightest thing would have them fly off the handle, I am ever so glad that friendship ended as my life was going in downwards spiral with that person. In this case the ‘break up’ was ugly, and I was scared of that person but so glad I was away from it all. I couldn’t deal with the constant phone calls, them turning up at my door and forever asking for money and making me feel like the worst person in the world if I couldn’t afford to give it to them. I noticed with this person, the happier I got, the angrier the person got with me like they didn’t want happiness for me, and that’s never ok. I’ve more recently dealt with being ghosted by a friend, which for me as a new experience and one which still doesn’t make sense to me.
People never remember the millions of times you helped them, only the time you don’t.
The following points have become my guidelines of when it is time to remove those people from your life. Nobody needs toxic people in their life.
- If someone makes you feel worse more times than they make you feel good that’s an instant no no. Friends are supposed to make you feel good.
- When you feel like the friendship is 99% you and only 1% of them (which includes attempting to make plans, reaching out to talk)
- If they constantly ask you for things but never give anything back emotionally or physically.
- There always seems to be something in the friendship for them, with most of my ex-friendships it is has been money, food or alcohol.
- They make you feel like the worst person in the world, like everything that has ever gone wrong somehow is your fault. Even though deep down you know it is not.
At the end of the day, it is easy me saying this to you, and I know as much as the next person it is hard to end that friendship, especially when you’ve spent so much time with them, and it seems like they’ve become a totally different person. It’s ok to move away from that, you do not need those levels of toxicity, and from experience, I can say once you’ve ‘broken up’ it feels like you can take a deep breath of fresh air and take back to being your own person again.
It’s important to remember, friends can break your heart too.